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Recent archival and experimental research has revealed that women are more likely than men to be appointed to leadership positions when an organization is in crisis. As a result, women often confront a “glass cliff” in which their position as leader is precarious. Our first archival study examined the 2005 UK general election and found that, in the Conservative party, women contested harder to win seats than did men. Our second study experimentally investigated the selection of a candidate by 80 undergraduates in a British political science class to contest a by-election in a seat that was either safe (held by own party with a large margin) or risky (held by an opposition party with a large margin). Results indicated that a male candidate was more likely than a woman to be selected to contest a safe seat, but there was a strong preference for a female rather than a male appointment when the seat was described as hard to win. Implications for women's participation in politics are discussed.